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A Treatise on the Science of Defence for the Sword, Bayonet, and Pike, in Close Action
London, T. Egerton, , 1805. Quarto. (280mm x 220mm). 19 plates, one of them folding. Light browning, otherwise very good in a contemporary red full straight-grained morocco presentation binding, a.e.g., slightly rubbed and with an ink splash to the upper board, but remains attractive. First Edition. Uncommon. This a presentation copy with, as usual, a number of inked corrections in the author's hand, some quite substantial, to the text. Gordon, described as "Captain of Invalids, retired" on the title page, dedicates this work to the Duke of York as Commander-in-Chief having been requested by him "to turn in his thoughts the subject of the Science of Defence, and to consider how it might be effectually applied against the cuts of Cavalry." The project was initiated under General Burgoyne when Commander in Ireland, Gordon drilling one hundred recruits in the new exercise being reviewed by the King and meeting with his "high approbation", recommending it in turn to Sir William Fawcett, the Adjutant General. The Treatise... seems to have met with wider approval on publication, receiving a lengthy and highly positive review in The Anti-Jacobin Review, "Captain Gordon writes with much modesty, and at the same time, with becoming confidence in the justness of the principles on which he grounds his exercise. And we cannot help thinking that instead of barely furnishing his mite, he has contributed very bountifully towards improving the science of defence." In one of his Appendices Gordon reprints a letter from Burgoyne to his successor in Ireland Gen. Sir William Pitt, remarking that "Lieut. Gordon has had the misfortune to remain unnoticed form the time he was approved" having received merely re-imbursement of his expenses for the trials. The publication of this "statement of his system" would seem to be an effort on his part to obtain some more substantial patronage for his efforts. Presented by the author to The Reverend Thomas Ebrington, Provost of Trinity College, Dublin, with a lengthy presentation inscription to the first binder's blank, "... this little imperfect mark of the profound respect, which the writer feels for the talent and the integrity now presiding over that College in which he resided ten Years." Ebrington's ownership inscription to the second blank.
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington]
Last Found On: 2013-07-20           Check availability:      Biblio    

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